January 25: US carrier American Airlines said that it may have to temporarily lay-off as many as 175 pilots due to the downturn in demand and a lower than predicted attrition in numbers due to retirement.
“The impact of the economy and reduction in capacity over the last 18 months, coupled with lower-than-expected pilot attrition, has resulted in a pilot surplus,” the airline said in a prepared statement. “This was a painful but necessary decision, as this staffing adjustment will better align the size of our pilot organisation with the size of our current operation.”
A first wave of lay-offs is expected at the end of February with up to 80 pilots involved and more could happen by the middle of the year if the economic situation is slow to improve. The furloughed pilots have the right to be recalled to their jobs if the airline needs to expand or attrition creates openings.